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The future of a global city
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How is London responding to social and economic crises, and to the challenges of sustaining its population, economy and global status?

Sustainable development discourse has come to permeate different policy fields, including transport, housing, property development and education. In this exciting book, authors highlight the uneven impacts and effects of these policies in London, including the creation of new social and economic inequalities. The contributors seek to move sustainable city debates and policies in London towards a progressive, socially just future that advances the public good.

The book is essential reading for urban practitioners and policy makers, and students in social, urban and environmental geography, sociology and urban studies.

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urgency to the policy discussions. This chapter examines the implications of the major demographic shift in population age structures, Global North and South, and suggests how it might be managed sustainably. There are three stages to this analysis. First, the scope of global ageing is summarized, as well as its causes and the closely related transformations in family structure and epidemiology. Second, the relationship between ageing and sustainability discourses is examined, which reveals the heavy emphasis on the economic dimension, with the exclusion of the

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-tune our relationship to joy. We need to find a life strategy that both is joyful and does no harm to others and does not endanger our future on this planet. I call this sustainable hedonism . Resource overuse and the ‘global rich’ Our consumption has gradually outgrown the limited resources of our planet. World Overshoot Day fell on 29 July in 2019, a calculated illustrative calendar date on which humanity’s resource consumption for the year exceeds the Earth’s capacity to regenerate those resources that year. 1 In 2020, the date fell on 22 August, given the

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1 INTRODUCTION: SUSTAINABLE CITIES IN SUSTAINABLE SOCIETIES David Simon Sustainable urbanisation has moved to the forefront of debate, research and policy agendas over recent years. There are numerous reasons for this, differing in precise combination across countries and regions. Among the most important of these is a growing appreciation of the implications of rapid urbanisation now occurring in China, India and many other low- and middle-income countries with historically low urbanisation levels. Much of this urbanisation is emulating unsustainable

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Part One Conceptions of sustainable development

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Part Three Challenges of sustainable development

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PART I Sustainability through History

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Accessible, green and fair
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Available Open Access under CC-BY-NC licence.

Sustainable urbanisation has moved to the forefront of global debate, research and policy agendas over recent years. Rapid urbanisation throughout China, India and many other low and middle income countries poses new challenges both locally and internationally at a time when urban areas worldwide are threatened by climate/environmental change.

This compact book is designed to make a signal contribution to the sustainable urbanisation agenda through authoritative interventions contextualising, assessing and explaining clearly the relevance and importance of three central characteristics of sustainable towns and cities everywhere, namely that they should be accessible, green and fair.

These three terms form key tenets of the work of Mistra Urban Futures (MUF), an international research centre on sustainable urbanisation based in Gothenburg, Sweden, and working through transdisciplinary research platforms there, in Greater Manchester (UK), Cape Town (South Africa) and Kisumu (Kenya). Additional platforms are being established in southern Sweden, Asia and Africa.

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This important volume steps beyond conventional legal approaches to sustainability to provide fresh insights into perhaps one of the most critical global challenges of our time.

Offering analysis of sustainability at land and sea alongside trade, labour and corporate governance perspectives, this book articulates important debates about the role of law. From impacts on local societies to domestic sustainable development policies and major international goals, it considers multiple jurisdictional levels.

With original, interdisciplinary research from experts in their legal fields, this is a rounded assessment of the complex interplay of law and sustainability—both as it is now and as it should be in the future.

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19 TWO Conceptualising sustainable development Introduction As noted in the previous chapter, sustainable development is often understood in terms of the Brundtland Commission’s definition of “development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs” (WCED 1987, 43). A sceptic might respond to Brundtland’s argument for sustainable development by observing that human welfare in Hong Kong and China has improved rapidly in recent decades despite environmentally unsustainable practices. One

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